The New York Times

new-york-times-hed-2013

On the topic of User Centered Design (UCD) and Rhetorical Awareness, I am using as my example one of my favorite news sources, The New York Times. As an Economics student as well as a very politically active citizen, I really enjoy the spectrum of opinion and informational articles on economic, political and societal issues and news. As well as providing outstanding journalism, the New York Times also does a very good job of incorporating concepts such as rhetorical awareness and User Centered Design into the promotion and distribution of its articles and other news materials.

Rhetorical Awareness and the New York Times

The New York Times is one of the oldest and most decorated newspapers in the US. As the decades have passed the Times has moved more and more towards providing reading materials for all manners of interests in the news spectrum. If you peruse the website nowadays you will see articles aimed at the interests of a range of topics, anywhere from economics to cooking to popular culture and sports journalism. This illustrates the major steps the online newspaper has taken to expand its reader audience in a time period when many long standing newspapers are beginning to look existentially endangered.

A further challenge the Times has encountered is that it has charged a relatively high subscription fee for readers to be able to read more than a select number of articles every month in order to maintain profitability. The newspaper has tried to counter the inconvenience on readers by emphasizing the historical significance of the paper and highlighting the commentary from a range of highly qualified and decorated columnists who have emerged as leaders in their respective fields.

By expanding the content of the material of the newspaper as well as trying to reinforce the real value that the paper provides, the New York Times has been able to capitalize on a broad share of readers from varied backgrounds. The Times has been highly effective in its use of rhetorical awareness with the purpose of expanding the audience of one of the most prestigious and significant newspapers in American history.

User Centered Design

User centered design has been used to great effect by the designers and editors at the New York Times in order to make the site user friendly and cater to the audience that the Times has built over the past few decades.

One of the major characteristic of articles and editorials on the New York Times is the sub categories that the Times provides within the larger topics such as economics, politics, and business. For instance while any reader can open up the politics tab and view a wide range of articles ranging from local to national to world political news, there are also categories that cater to more specific readers who for example may be interested primarily in the 2016 election, like their Election 2016 collection.

A large number of Times articles also have either a short write up or compact reader friendly summaries that cater to readers that are either pressed for time or just want to have a more compact news experience. Beyond just the design undertaken to make the site more user friendly, writers for the New York Times typically are very concise and able to effectively communicate the point of their articles without the message being bogged down in overly wordy rhetoric.

The New York Times has done an outstanding job of curating and publishing major news and prolific columnists and editors. By utilizing Rhetorical Awareness and User Centered Design the Times has created a bastion of journalistic excellence while making content easy to access and providing an excellent reader experience.

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10 thoughts on “The New York Times

  1. I also enjoy scrolling through the Times just to see what I missed in the past couple days. As you mentioned, it’s very nice that they offer a feature that quickly sums up the main article, so you don’t have to read the entire thing if you don’t want to.

  2. I really liked your analysis of The New York Times. I absolutely love this newspaper, and I always go to it for important information, especially for school. I like how you can search newspaper articles and now you can get even ones from many years ago on the Internet. I also love how you can easily get a synopsis of a particular article.

  3. I agree with you that the writers for The New York Times write concise and effectively. It’s nice for readers to be able to get their news in such a manor. It’s a good newspaper to use for school related projects (and for everyday use)! I’ve used their archives a handful of times which is a really cool feature.

  4. WSJ + NYT = informed.

    I read both publications and the layout draws the reader’s attention to the most relevant information.

    Both great reads. I encourage you to read the Wall Street Journal if you don’t already.

  5. I love the New York Times. All of their information is so accurate and up to date that you know you’re getting the most reliable data. Because it is so old, you know that it is a highly trusted source. It presents you with more than just the basic news but with creative articles as well.

  6. I agree, the New York Times website is my go to website for news. I enjoy the layout of it because I feel as if I am reading a newspaper. I feel like people jump to conclusion and automatically think its difficult to read but it really isn’t. I really like the opinion pages

  7. The news outlets have very nice web setups in most cases. This site was very well organized and allowed me to find a variety of topics easily and in a manner that wasn’t confusing.

  8. I get the majority of my news from the internet, same as everyone else now days, but I have never actually been to the New York Times site. I have red the paper a few times but now that you mention the site I’ll have to check it out.

  9. I read the Times frequently because my father has a subscription. I like what you said about the summaries that they provide because that is usually all I read lol! But hey its better than nothing. And it just makes things so easy, I can go over so many different subjects in such a short period of time it awesome.

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